70-year-old Singaporean man dies from Covid-19 complications; third such death in Singapore

Mr Chung Ah Lay, who was admitted to Singapore General Hospital on Feb 29, died from complications due to Covid-19 infection on March 29, 2020. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO READER

SINGAPORE - A 70-year-old Singaporean man has died from complications due to Covid-19 infection, at 12.12pm on Sunday (March 29), said the Ministry of Health.

Mr Chung Ah Lay, who was Case 109, had a history of hypertension and hyperlipidaemia - or high cholesterol. He had no recent travel history to affected countries and regions.

He was admitted to Singapore General Hospital (SGH) on Feb 29, and was confirmed to have Covid-19 infection on March 2.

He had been cared for in the intensive care unit (ICU) since then. He developed serious complications and eventually succumbed to the infection after 27 days in the ICU, said the MOH.

SGH has reached out to his family and is extending assistance to them, said the MOH.

This is the third Covid-19 death in Singapore. On March 21, a 75-year-old Singaporean woman and a 64-year-old Indonesian man died from the disease. The woman had a history of chronic heart disease and hypertension, while the man had a history of heart disease.

Mr Chung's eldest daughter Ashley wrote on Facebook that her father had "put on a good and ferocious fight" against the virus.

She added: "Daddy Chung has led a good life. He is always our benevolent father, who has always loved and protected his family with his very best. In spirit, he will always be connected to us, in this generation and the next."

She also reminded Singaporeans to be socially responsible.

"Our dad did not travel to affected countries or clusters. How he was infected is still a mystery to my family. Let us remember Daddy Chung by being socially responsible. Another loss due to socially irresponsible behaviour can be avoided! Let us do our part!" she wrote.

Earlier this month, Ashley made a public appeal for recovered Covid-19 patients to step forward and donate their blood for potential plasma therapy treatment.

She also appealed to the authorities to allow her father to undergo plasma therapy on compassionate grounds, even though no patient here had received plasma transfusion as treatment.

Plasma therapy is a treatment that makes use of the antibodies to the coronavirus that recovered patients may have developed. The treatment was introduced in China with some success in treating Covid-19 patients who were critically ill.

When The Straits Times spoke to Ashley, 43, on March 4, she said that the entire family was "shocked" by how quickly her father's condition had worsened since he was admitted to SGH. She had also not seen or spoken to him since he was admitted, as he required a ventilator to breathe.

Mr Chung is survived by his three children and five grandchilden.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong expressed his condolences. He wrote in a Facebook post: "I got home to learn the sad news that another Covid-19 patient had passed away. My deepest sympathies to the family."

He added: "Keeping a safe physical distance apart should not mean social isolation. Give your friends and family a call, and continue supporting one another during this period."

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